Mostly the Universe stays unchanged for hundreds, thousands or even millions of years. There are some cases however when some things change really rapidly. Recently I observed one of these rapidly changing, transient phenomena, as asteroid called 2012 DA14. I work for Las Cumbres Observatory and we have been trying to observe this asteroid since 5 February.
What We Know About the Russian Meteor Event [UPDATED]
We have the technology to provide warning about these potential disasters
Preliminary estimates show that the meteoroid was 15 meters wide and weighed roughly 8000 tons. The resulting airburst would have the equivalent yield of about a 1/2 megaton explosion.
A large meteor streaked through the skies above Russia on the morning of Feb 15th, causing a deafening sonic boom that shattered windows and injured hundreds.
Continuing my writeup of notes from last week's Division for Planetary Sciences meeting: presentations on the risks of future asteroid impacts. How much risk do we face, and what are the appropriate actions to take in the face of that risk?
Posted by Bruce Betts on 2012/05/08 03:43 CDT
Evidence continues to pile up that the Rio Vichada structure in Colombia is indeed the largest impact structure in South America.
With a new CCD camera configured to shoot rapid, short exposures bought with a Planetary Society Shoemaker NEO Grant we caught near-Earth asteroid 2012 DA14.
Posted by Mat Kaplan on 2012/03/06 10:18 CST
A new installment of our "Snapshots" video series examines the threat posed by asteroids on collision courses with our home planet. Emily Lakdawalla explains why it's so important to find, understand and learn to deflect these potential civilization enders.
Posted by Bruce Betts on 2011/05/10 05:59 CDT
One nice thing about the Planetary Defense conference is that I not only get to talk with the NEO community of experts all in one place and hear their new science, but I also get updates on projects the Planetary Society has funded.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/05/09 12:21 CDT
Meteorites hit Earth all the time, but they almost never score direct hits on human-built structures (or humans, for that matter). Once in a while, though, direct hits do happen, and it looks like this recent event in Poland was the real thing.
Posted by Amir Alexander on 2010/02/13 12:00 CST
It was January of 2004 when the elegant curve of the Vichada first caught the attention of geologist Max Rocca of Buenos Aires. Could the course of the river have been shaped by the circular outlines of an impact crater? Rocca decided to find out.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/01/12 11:52 CST
In less than 24 hours, a newly discovered asteroid known as 2010 AL30 will be zipping past Earth at an altitude of approximately a third the Earth-Moon distance. There's no chance it'll hit us, but it's generating a lot of excitement in the community of amateur and professional near-Earth asteroid observers.
Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2005/04/20 03:25 CDT
Astronomers have revised the Torino scale, the color-coded advisory system to assess the threat of asteroids and other near-Earth objects (NEOs) to make it easier for the public to understand.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2004/09/29 12:00 CDT
This morning, asteroid 4179 Toutatis was so close to Earth that simultaneous observations from two telescopes in the same country could show parallax that is obvious even to the least experienced observer. The two telescopes belong to The European Southern Observatory and are located at La Silla and Paranal in Chile
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2004/09/27 12:00 CDT
On Wednesday, September 29, Earth will dodge a cannonball: the Near-Earth Asteroid known as 4179 Toutatis will buzz by at a distance only four times the distance from the Earth to the Moon -- about one and a half million kilometers, or about a million miles. But, as the wisdom goes, "close" only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades; Toutatis' flyby will have no effect whatsoever on us.